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Royal Society says UK science spending halved

By | July 17, 2000

D funding has fallen by more than half in fifteen years.

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Sequence of a plant pathogen

By | July 17, 2000

In the 13 July Nature a Brazilian sequencing consortium reports the first public sequence of a free-living plant pathogen (Nature 2000, 406:151-159). The bacterium, Xyella fastidiosa, grows in the water-conducting xylem of citrus plants and causes chlorosis (yellowing) and premature production of small, tough fruit. The sequence reveals a metabolism focussed on carbohydrate consumption and extensive biosynthetic capability to compensate for the scarcity of biological small molecules in the xylem

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UK science - politicians get the seven-year itch

By | July 17, 2000

Seven years after the last UK (Conservative) government 'White Paper' on science, Tony Blair's Labour administration will try to make its own marriage between science and government policy.

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A list of lists for yeast

By | July 14, 2000

The function of an uncharacterized gene can sometimes be determined by mutating the gene and using a phenotypic assay But sometimes a convenient phenotype does not exist for a given cellular function. Hughes et al. suggest in the July 7 Cell that expression profiles can be used instead (Cell 2000, 102:109-126). Rather than measuring expression profiles as conditions change (e.g., at different points in the cell cycle, Hughes et al. keep the culture conditions constant and measure the profiles of

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A third postcard from China: fascinated by biotechnology, but cautious

By | July 14, 2000

Contrary to much reporting in the West, China is having to pay attention to public concerns about biotechnology, says Zhao Zhizen, TV science broadcaster.

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Hopping along DNA

By | July 14, 2000

The rate at which electrons and holes move along DNA is sufficient to prevent strand-cleavage reactions, but too slow to make DNA a useful molecular wire.

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Of ozone holes and Triffids

By | July 14, 2000

Depletion of stratospheric ozone increases the amount of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) irradiation experienced on Earth. Now Ries et al. report in the 6 July Nature that increased UV-B exposure can reduce the genomic stability of plants (Nature 2000, 406:98-101). They use a reporter gene inserted as a tandem or inverted repeat as a probe to detect 1.7-fold to 14-fold increases in homologous recombination after increasing UV-B levels. The plant germline is protected from UV-B for much of its life, and yet

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Seven Academies back GMOs to feed the world

By | July 14, 2000

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are good for the poor and hungry, say seven national and international academies of science.

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NEW YORK, July 7 (Praxis Press) Prompt treatment of heart attacks is crucial to the survival of the patient. Two important treatments that require trained emergency medical personnel and need to be administered as quickly as possible are drugs to dissolve clots (thrombolytic agents) and defibrillation and other methods to control heart arrhythmias. Rapid access to emergency medical care is a problem in many communities and even when the decision is made to seek medical care, most patients in the

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Endocarditis prophylaxis

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) The current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infectious endocarditis (IE), recommend echocardiography to determine IE risk in patients with suspected valvular lesions. Based on AHA clinical and echocardiography criteria, a retrospective survey classified patients who underwent outpatient transthoracic echocardiography into three risk categories (high, moderate, negligible) and evaluated to check if physician recomme

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